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Gluten-Free Pasta at the Roadhouse

Mac n’ cheese is for everybody!

By Marcy Harris

Mmmmmm, mac and cheese. It’s a classic – warm, melty, and comforting. If I see a pan of macaroni out at party, I’ll elbow everyone out of the way to get to it first. Pun so intended. Not that I won’t share. Everytime I eat at the Roadhouse, I make sure one of our macs is on the table for everyone to enjoy. But the point is, there has to be a way for everyone to enjoy it, including my gluten-free pals.

As long as the Roadhouse has been serving really good American food, our mac has been a favorite on the menu. So why wouldn’t we want to make it available to as many of our friends as possible? And now we can do that with our gluten-free pasta.

“Macaroni and cheese is pasta.”- Ari Weinzweig

When your macaroni and cheese is named one of the America’s Best: Top Ten Comfort Foods by the Food Network, naturally you’d want to make sure it’s being made with the best ingredients possible. The Roadhouse typically uses a superb macaroni pasta made by the Martelli family in Tuscany. So when we make it gluten-free, we use a gluten-free pasta that is of comparable quality – it has to taste good and hold up to our yummy sauce.

The key to any good pasta is that the texture stays al dente. For our gluten-free pasta, we bring in RP’s from Madison Wisconsin. RP’s uses all-natural ingredients and Old World artisan techniques for making their pasta. They actually hand-roll the dough and extrude it through brass dies in small batches, resulting in a better texture. What I really love about RP’s is that all their pasta is fresh, so there is a consistent quality of taste and texture when the pasta is cooked.

It really does taste like pasta!

When it comes to gluten-free pasta, there might be concerns about how it will compare to a flour based pasta. Most gluten-free pastas are made from corn flour, quinoa flour, rice flour, or some grab-bag assortment of mixed starches. And what happens when you add water to a grab-bag of starches? That’s right. A gummy mess.

So there could be issues with texture, not only with the gummy factor, but also with the potential of the pasta losing its shape. RP’s uses brown rice flour, which allows for a firmer texture. The taste is also pretty fantastic with our mac and cheese. You know that “cardboard” flavor that is often associated with other rice pastas? You are not going to get it with this one.

We use RP’s fusilli, which is a spiral shaped pasta. I’ll be honest, I actually like the spirals with our béchamel based cheese sauce (which we can also make gluten-free using rice flour!). The ridges on the pasta trap the sauce, so you get more flavor with every bite. Every time I have it, my mind spirals over how delicious it is!

Are you gluten-free? Do you want to try our mac? Stop by the Roadhouse and ask your server about it! We will make it happen.

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